When planning our weekly food plan I tend to pick one cookbook to focus primarily on & then add in recipes from blogs as well. Getting used to cooking so frequently was definitely an adjustment but since we really can't find anything to eat at work, I really rely on my homemade food to get through the day! The thing I have discovered is that in the 20 mins it takes to get take-out and get back home you can have dinner practically ready to eat in that same timeframe AND know what is in the food you are eating! (even less if all you are doing is heating up food from a weekend bulk cook).
Oh and in case you missed my earlier post on my top 3 kitchen appliances, you can access it here.
For now, I definitely have a set of favorite vegan cookbooks and I'll share them with you in this post. Do you have a favorite that isn't on my list?? Would LOVE to hear of ideas for new awesome ones!
1) The Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay Nixon. If there was one cookbook I could recommend as a starter for plant-based eating, this would be it.
- Very simple recipes. Very yummy. Very well organized. And no, I don't just love Lindsay because she made me her "Herbie of the Week!", I was raving about her cookbook long before all that!
- Great section at the front of the cookbook on what to stock in your pantry. She says you can make all of the recipes in her book from this pantry stock list in the front!
- Easily demarcated if gluten-free, etc.
- Nutritional info on EVERY recipe--all of the recipes are either no fat or low fat
- You can check out her blog here. Her latest book is the "THE EVERYDAY HAPPY HERBIVORE"
- Fav Recipes: Azetec Corn Soup, Lasagna Rolls (OMG good, my husband couldn't get enough of them--I also turned them into fettuccine one night-pic above!)
- I blogged on the The Happy Herbivore Cookbook recipes as an example of how we bulk cook here. I also interviewed Lindsay on her newest cookbook, The Everyday Happy Herbivore.
2) Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson: My second favorite is a highly awesome book for those (like us) on a tight budget!
- every recipe is <$2.50 a serving with a lot around the $0.50/serving range.
- she helps you figure out how to replicate the more expensive vegan items with homemade versions--seitan, vegetable stock, mayo, "big stick pepperoni." AND how to organize your kitchen.
- if you are going oil-free per Dr. Esselstyn's program (like me) you do need to substitute for oil
- the food is fantastic--Robin Robertson is an amazing chef--The Healthy Librarian's version of her Sweet Potato, Spinach, Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, and a Bit of Peanut Butter Soup is one of our favorites (that recipe is from a different one of her cookbooks but all of her recipes are of this quality)
Sweet-Potato, Roasted Tomato,
Spinach & Peanut Soup!
- Brilliant new cookbook added to my collection this week
- First recipe, the potato soup, was very good
- Fascinating to discover that you can cook things like squash and poached pears in the slow cooker!
- LOVE our 3-in-1 slow cooker so I'm going to be all about this book!
- Its organized really well--love that it clearly identifies the recipes as soy and gluten-free, etc
- I like its "The night before" and "In the morning" sections to each recipe so you can prep it the night before and then toss it in the slow cooker in the morning to cook all day!
- The cookbook from the Forks Over Knives film
- Really excellent variety of plant-based options to choose from, 125 recipes from 25 vegan chefs including Mrs. McDougall, Mrs. Esselstyn, Mrs. Campbell, Chef AJ, Rip Esselstyn and many more.
- Great for new fresh ideas when you are getting in a rut!
- Need to substitute for oil in some recipes but a lot of recipes without oil as well.
- Favorite: Polenta Pizza with Herbed Cashew Creme! (made that for Christmas for my family & they loved it!) YUM!
- New favorite--got it this week and have made 2 recipes so far. Both have been OUTSTANDING!
- I love this book because it has a bunch of full menu ideas for a party and then is organized into recipes by party theme. The recipes sound complicated but I can follow them easily (I don't do complicated recipes! No time!)
- For example, the first chapter is "A Dinner Party" and the recipes are: "Artichoke Tapenade, Sun-dried Tomato & Green Olive Biscotti (made this tonight--with gluten-free flour of course--OUT OF THIS WORLD AMAZING!), Butterhead & Radicchio Salad with Walnut-Pesto Dressing, Wild Mushroom Ragu over Polenta and Orange-Kissed Chocolate Tiramisu!!"
- The themes range from a "Child's Birthday Party" menu to a "Super Bowl Party" with some formal menus as well (the formal menus do seem more complex however)!
- The recipes are very straightforward--easy to throw together. When I saw the word "biscotti" I was a bit intimidated but it was actually pretty simple to prepare! She clearly indicates if something is complicated or simple.
- You do need to find substitutes for oils and fats in the recipes
- I'm a huge fan of "party food" so its nice to have a book to use. Her "Finger-Lickin Tempeh" recipe is online--also see my post.
- Whimsical and fun--great variety of fantastic ethnic food, a lot of curries which is great! We cook the curries in the slow cooker which saves time :-)
- Nutritional info with every recipe, no more than 400 calories per serving
- Main dish focussed which is nice, less emphasis on appetizers, etc.
- Excellent variety of vegetable options and recipes are healthy
- New to me so I'm still getting to know it--did a lot of last week's menu from it: the Butternut Coconut Rice was AMAZING and the Vegetable Korma is a total hit!
Reference Books with Recipes
- The first cookbook we used--fantastic simple recipes and great tips on learning how to cook without oil (surprisingly not as challenging as you would think!).
- Favorites: Artichoke-Bean Dip (a hit at every party I've brought it to--I use it also as sandwich filler), Green Onion Hummus, Quick Black Bean Chili (but we make it with multiple types of beans)--SO good!
- Excellent for beginners to the vegan, low-fat world because everything is very easy with very short, simple steps to prepare.
- I use this book primarily for the reference data in the front but there are some good looking recipes in the back--haven't tried them yet.
- The table at the front is the basis for my anti-inflammatory food program
- Best of the Blogosphere from This Week & My FAVORITE Blogs!
- How I Deal With Temptation...
- Guest Post from THE HAPPY NURSE
- The Clear Skin Diet and My New Soy-Free Life!
- And more....
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